Smith & Jackson

Rivertown (RGF/SJCD 057)

Smith & Jackson: RivertownListen to tracks:

Gonna Hurt to Say Goodbye | Freight Train | The Best Thing I Ever Had

Jimmy Smith (lead guitar, vocals) & Paul Jackson (lead vocals, guitar) have been working together since 1997, but it has taken a very long time for them to complete and release a fully realised album.

One of the delays was caused by the death of Sean Delaney, a legendary US music biz figure whose greatest achievement was to discover the hugely successful group, Kiss – he is listed as producer of their greatest hits album, ‘Double Platinum’. Delaney heard Smith & Jackson when they were based in Phoenix , Arizona , and instantly offered to manage them, not only because they were polished live performers, but also because their original songs possessed a rare quality. Perhaps it’s the meeting of Jimmy (from Dublin ) and Paul (from Wearside).

Delaney oversaw the recording of two demo albums, also co-writing a few songs with Jimmy & Paul, but in 2003, he unexpectedly died, and Smith & Jackson had to start again from scratch. Here’s the result, ‘Rivertown’, an album which we think is pretty neat, containing 13 original songs written by Jimmy & Paul, with a little help from friends here and there.

Just to provide a bit more background: Paul was lead vocalist of Roadhouse, a band launched by Pete Willis after he left Def Leppard, but which fell apart after an eponymous 1991 album on Vertigo. Paul was also chosen as replacement for Noddy Holder when the latter left Slade, but decided to pursue his own music rather than trying to replace an institution. Jimmy has played in dozens of bands on both sides of the Irish Sea , but his restless spirit has prevented him from achieving the acclaim his songwriting, guitar work and harmony vocals have long deserved.

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